Ferrari 250 GT SWB
Total Production: 32
Ferrari's unstoppable 250 GTO racer, with its brutal performance and beautiful lines, was replaced by the 250 LM. Though the LM, too, was a great looker with formidable capabilities on the track, it was a wholly different vehicle from the GTO. While the GTO followed the storied Ferrari tradition of stuffing twelve cylinders between the front fenders, the LM had its V12 mounted amidships.
Placing the engine behind the driver was a predictable move. More and more successful racing cars were using mid-engined configurations by 1964, the year that the 250 LM first competed. Ferrari itself had already experienced notable success with mid-engined cars, and the company chose its 250 P as the foundation for the 250 LM. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1963, the first and third spots on the winners' podium were filled by 250 Ps. The 250 P's competition success would be continued by the 250 LM.
First shown at the Paris Salon of 1963, the 250 LM resembled a 250 P with an added roof. The LM had a tubular chassis built by Vaccari of Modena. The chassis was similar to the unit used for the 250 P, although the tubing surrounding the cabin was made sturdier to compensate for the LM's heavy doors and low sills. Suspension was carried over from the 250 P, and consisted of double wishbones and coil springs front and rear. The Paris show car's engine was also carried over from the 250 P (and the 250 GTO). It was a 60-degree V12 of 2,953cc, producing 300bhp at 7,500rpm and topped by a sextet of Webers. The show car's engine was replaced by a bored-out motor of similar design but displacing 3,286cc when the 250 LM went into production for 1964, providing an additional 20bhp.
With a superlatively sporty body shell penned by Pininfarina and constructed in aluminum by Scaglietti, the 250 LM looked like it was born for the racetrack. Indeed, the 250 LM was born for the racetrack, which led to serious problems when Ferrari attempted to homologate the car for racing.
FIA rules stated that 100 copies of a car must be produced in order to qualify that vehicle for GT racing. Ferrari had somehow managed to qualify its 250 GTO, of which only 37 were produced, for GT competition by claiming that it was simply a rebodied 250 SWB. The FIA was not going to fall for such shenanigans again, though. Ferrari was only able to produce 32 copies of its 250 LM, so the vehicle was refused status as a GT car and forced to compete in the prototype class. This was a problem. Ferrari had intended for the 250 LM to be a GT racer just like the 250 GTO before it, but now its mid-engined car would be pinned against ferocious competition in a class without boundaries.
This turn of fate ensured that the 250 LM would not have the same monumental career as the GTO. The LM did not exactly languish in the prototype class, though. Victories at Kyalami, Rheims, and Elkhart Lake were all accomplished in 1964. In 1965, the 250 LM won Ferrari its last overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That the 250 LM was able to find success even in the prototype class was proof of Ferrari's engineering excellence. The LM, produced by a company under the direction of a fearless and often ruthless leader, was the product of an unstoppable desire to go faster and an indefatigable drive to win.
'Ferrari 250 LM.' QV500.com n. pag. Web. 27 Jan 2010.
Melissen, Wouter. '1963-1966 Ferrari 250 LM.' Ultimatecarpage.com (2005): Web. 27 Jan 2010. By Evan Acuña
The Ferrari 250 GTO was produced from 1962 through 1964 with 36 examples created during that time including 33 cars with the 1962 and 1963 Series I bodywork and three with 1964 (Series II) bodywork similar to the Ferrari 250 LM. Four of the Series I cars were later updated in 1964 with Series II bodies. The 250 GTO is a car of beauty, performance, and mystery. Much is known about the car, but much is still in question. It is one of the most memorable and sought-after vehicles with many still put through their paces in modern times in historic competition.
The design was created by either Bizzarrini or Scaglietti or possibly input from several sources. Gestione Sportiva's Giotto Bizzarrini was in charge of the Comp/62 program when the prototype was brought to the track for testing. Gestione Sportiva had been tasked with creating a new performance version of the 250 GT for the 1962 season in order to comply with new FIA regulations to run the World Championship for GT cars, rather than sportscars. The project began with a 250 GT chassis SWB chassis that measured 2600 mm and shortened down to 2400 mm. The 2600mm wheelbase had been available as either an aluminum-bodied competition car or a 'Lusso' road-going version with a steel body. The 'Lusso' was created to comply with FIA homologation regulations that required a minimum number of cars to be created. The 250 GT SWB was used in competition during the 1960 and 1961 season scoring many important victories and providing the prancing horse marque with many podium finishes. It achieved victories in the Tour de France, and class victories at LeMans, along with many other GT Class victories.
In 1961 the Comp/61 version was introduced. It was a development of the prior competition 250 GT versions but with a more powerful engine, slightly modified body, and a strong and lighter chassis. Its only Achilles heel was its poor aerodynamics at high speeds.
The Comp/62 program began almost at the start of 1961. Ferrari raced a 'Sperimentale' in the 1961 LeMans race which featured a 250 TR engine stuffed into a 250 GT SWB chassis and wearing a body designed by Pininfarina in the SuperAmerica style. The car showed real potential but would end the race prematurely.
The front design of the Comp/62 prototype test car would make it to production mostly unchanged. The rear of the car was similar to the early 1960s 250 GT. The overall shape of the car was continually developed until perfected. Upon competition, it was sent to Scaglietti who finished the design and prepared it for production. In February of 1962, the car was shown to the public even though further modifications would still be made to the design. During high-speed testing, the rear end aerodynamics were still unstable. To rectify the problem, a small fin-shaped tail called a 'Kamm' was attached to the rear. This tail had first been seen on a V6 prototype car driven by Richie Ginther during the following season. The first 18 cars constructed had a separate bolt-on tail while the remaining cars had the design built directly into the body.
The Ferrari 250 GT series had done well for Ferrari, both in racing and in sales. Ferrari was able to use it in competition for several seasons as they had already been approved for racing and homologation requirements were satisfied. With the introduction of the Comp/62, may felt the car was not a derivation of the 250 GT, but had more similarities with a 'Testa Rossa' with the addition of a roof, thus making it a completely new car. Official paperwork referred to the cars as 250 GT Comp/62, but it is commonly referred to as a 250 GTO, with the 'O' representing 'Omologato' which is Italian for homologation. Ultimately, it was the 250 GTO name, which had first appeared in English publications, that would stick with the car. The US automobile company, Pontiac, would later use the 'GTO' name on their muscle car vehicles. Ferrari later used the 'GTO' name on future series of their vehicles.
The Ferrari 250 GTO enjoyed continual success in racing, even though the development had been hindered by the 1961 walk-out by many influential and important individuals at Bizzarrini. When the 250 GTO made its racing debut at Sebring, the second round of the championship, it easily won the GT class. It had been driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, both very capable, experienced, and accomplished drivers. As the season progressed, the 250 GTO continued to rack up class victories including a top three in class at LeMans. Ferrari easily won the season having earned 45 points.
The following season the GTO continued its successes even with an influx of competition from the AC Cobras with powerful Ford engines.
There were 33 factory-built GTOs during 1962 and 1963 with 28 having the Comp/62 body. One wore a GTO LMB body. Three more were created in 1964 and four of the prior models were later re-bodied with a 1964 design. Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team (NART) created a special one-off design that they entered in the 1963 24 Hours of LeMans and is commonly referred to as a 250 GTO LMB. Its design was similar to the 330 LMB GT/Prototype race cars.
The 1964 cars were a development of the 250 P which had won LeMans in 1963. The engine was placed mid-ship and most, if not all, of its mechanical components, were completely new. This meant they were not homologated for racing under FIA regulations. To solve this problem, Ferrari quickly had three new GTOs created and fitted with bodies similar to the 250 LM. The cars would earn Ferrari another Championship for the third year in a row, though it was a tough battle between the competitive AC Cobra's and the Daytona variant.
As the competition continued to grow, Ferrari created a new racing version of the newly introduced 275 GTB. What had worked in the past for Ferrari, was not to work again, as the FIA refused homologation for the racing version as they viewed it too different from the road version. So Ferrari withdrew from GT Competition and focused on Formula 1.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2008
Total Production: 56
Total Production: 356
There's a lot of history behind Ferrari's current 2+2, the 612 Scaglietti. For as long as Ferrari has been a household name, the company has offered a 2+2 car with a luxurious and inviting interior to complement its awesome performance, and the 612 is but the latest in a long line of great GTs. The car credited with beginning this grand tradition of grand touring is the 250GTE of the early 1960s.
Since its founding in the late 1940s, Ferrari had been developing a reputation for producing some of the finest racing machinery available. Ferrari road cars, too, were quickly becoming famous. When, in 1952, the first of Ferrari's 250-series cars debuted, the Modenese firm had launched a platform that was to underpin some of the fiercest racers and fastest street cars of its time. That the 250 chassis was the foundation of Ferrari's first series-production 2+2 meant that the 250 GTE was not only the car that launched a successful Ferrari mainstay, but also a vehicle representing one of the furthest developments of the legendary 250 line.
As such an important car to the Ferrari story, it would be understandable to expect the 250 GTE to be an exceedingly valuable vehicle in today's market. This is not the case. A decent GTE can be purchased for around $100,000. Not cheap, but that's pocket change next to the prices commanded by some other 250-series cars, for instance the California and Lusso. The high sales of the GTE may have brought great profits to Ferrari, allowing for the automaker to build even faster, more glorious racing cars, but the GTE itself was rather staid next to its contemporaries. Ferrari had purpose-built racers to compete with, so the GTE's racing pedigree is lacking. The high volume of production that made the GTE successful also diminished its exclusivity. With racing heritage and exclusivity being two key factors that make expensive Ferraris expensive, it's not difficult to see why the 250 GTE is not one of the more valuable Ferraris of its era.
That the 250 GTE is not a particularly pricey Ferrari should not diminish its greatness. With 955 made, the GTE was the hottest selling Ferrari that had ever been produced, and there was good reason for its sales success. The car had everything customers could want—speed, comfort, and a bloodline directly linked to some of the most incredible sports cars available.
The 250 chassis came in two standard wheelbase lengths, and the GTE was based upon the longer of the two. To free up additional space for the passenger compartment, Ferrari moved the GTE's engine forward 200mm as compared to its placement in a standard long-wheelbase 250. The GTE had a longer rear overhang than other 250 models, again to allow for greater interior space. These changes provided the GTE with a cabin that really was suitable for four adults. Cabin trimmings were fine, with full carpeting, yards of leather, and a full complement of Veglia gauges.
Pininfarina, a design house that has been consistently and deeply involved with the design of Ferrari products throughout the Prancing Horse's history, was responsible for the 250 GTE's body. Pininfarina's styling incorporated the roomy cabin gracefully. The look was elegant and cohesive, and did not appear at all like an existing body that had simply been stretched to cover a larger interior. Everything about the design appeared clean and uncompromised, a great stylistic achievement for any 4-seater based upon a 2-seater's platform. It would take decades for Ferrari to conceive another 2+2 with the same graceful, well-integrated look of the GTE.
Three variants of the 250 GTE were produced. The Series I was first unveiled in June of 1960 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and released for sale October of the same year at the Paris Salon. The later Series II, released in 1962 and lasting through early 1963, was almost identical to the earlier model, save for a few subtle changes to the dash design. The Series III model featured more notable changes when it arrived a few months into 1963. Its driving lights were situated directly beneath its headlights and flanking the grille, whereas Series I and II cars had driving lights mounted within the grille itself. At the rear of the car, vertical taillight lenses were used on the Series III. These lenses replaced the taillight assemblies of the Series I and II, which used three small, circular lenses per side mounted on vertical, chrome-plated panels. Some mechanical changes were also made to the Series III, including a boosted compression ratio.
The engine powering all series of 250 GTE was a gem of a mill, designed by the illustrious Italian engineer Gioacchino Colombo. A V12 displacing just 2,953cc, Colombo's oversquare engine produced 240bhp at a lofty 7,000rpm. Cylinder heads were borrowed from the spectacular Testa Rossa. The compression ratio was 8.8:1 for Series I and II cars, increased to 9.2:1 for the Series III. Triple downdraft Webers sat atop Colombo's creation. This was a race-bred engine in true Ferrari tradition.
The V12's maniacal tendencies appeared to be tamed by the 250 GTE's plush cabin and overdrive transmission, though. An engine that should have been fussy and temperamental was made as well-mannered as possible so that its use in the GTE would not be incongruous with the car's luxurious feel. In a feat of engineering excellence that few if any other automakers could match, Ferrari created a supremely comfortable and spacious automobile with the heart of a race car. This was the charm of the 250 GTE, and the singular characteristic that has made every Ferrari 2+2 since a work of excellence.
Apen, John. '1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2.' Sports Car Market (2008): n. pag. Web. 22 Jan 2010.
'Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2.' QV500.com n. pag. Web. 22 Jan 2010. .By Evan Acuña
Total Production: 164
Total Production: 50
Total Production: 36
Total Production: 64
The Boano and Ellena coupes of the late 1950s are considered the first series-built Grand Touring cars produced by Ferrari. These 250GT-based cars were designed by Pinin Farina and made their debut at the March 1956 Geneva Auto Show. The first 250GT completed was chassis number 0429GT.
Pinin Farin did not have the capacity for series production at the time, and after just eight units were produced in the mid-1956, 250GT production was transferred to Carrozzeria Boano. The Boano built cars have a low-profile roofline, and a total of sixty examples were produced by Boano between 1956 and 1957. As 1957 came to a close, Mario Boano accepted an offer to set up Fiat's styling department. The 250GT production was taken over by his son-in-law Ezio Ellena and Boano's former partner, Luciano Pollo.
A further sixty examples were created by Ellena, and these cars are often referred to as Ellena Coupes. Subsequent to the first eight Ellena-built examples, the remainder of 250 GT Ellena production featured a taller roofline.
As would be expected from a low-production car, they were very expensive, priced from $10,975. They had many improvements over the previous Europa GT models, including increased luggage and passenger area. The Colombo-designed V-12 engine displaced 3.0-liters and produced between 220 and 240 horsepower depending on its speciation. Zero-to-sixty was achieved in just 5.9 seconds with a top speed ranging from 127 to 157 miles per hour depending on the final drive selected.
The mechanical specifications were very similar to those used on Ferrari's contemporary GT racing car, the Tour de France Berlinetta.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009
Model Production ** Please note, dates are approximate
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